Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Painsomnia: When Falling Asleep Hurts, CBD Can Help

With many individuals unable to stay asleep (or fall back asleep) due to pain, it seems marijuana or CBD may be a smart integration for those not wanting to worry about pill-dependence or addiction.

March is National Sleep Awareness Month and Americans have a severe problem with sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans say that poor or inefficient sleep has affected their daily activities. 

How much sleep are American men, women and children not getting? The journal Sleep found that poor sleep, or as they put it, “the canary in the coal mine” of disorders, was affecting a majority of American families. They surveyed individuals in 2017 and found surprising statistics. 

  • 40.9 % of African Americans, 32.9% of Hispanics, and 30.9% of Caucasians shared that they slept fewer than six hours a night. 
  • Individuals reported that from 2004 to 2017, “short sleep” (sleeping fewer than six hours a night) was on the rise 2%.

The rise of Painsomnia

Coined by Dawn Gibson and Dr. Ben Nowell of CreakyJoints, painsomnia, the painful lack of sleep affecting many, can also cause already established conditions to worsen. In a recent case study, Gibson and Nowell explained just how some individuals are actually woken up by pain and have trouble falling back asleep. 

“Painsomnia is a patient-generated term for the vicious cycle of pain and sleep deprivation or fatigue related to a chronic condition or its treatment,” they said. “Evolving from social media discussions, painsomnia is a shorthand description that helps people relate to each other in posts about being prodded awake by pain and being unable to find a comfortable position in bed or to “settle down” for sleep and rest. Anxiety and frustration about lack of sleep and its impact on functioning the next day often accompany patients’ painsomnia experiences and virtual discussions.” 

RELATED: Let’s Talk About Why Sleep Is Important — And How To Get Some

With many individuals unable to stay asleep (or fall back asleep) due to pain, it seems marijuana or CBD may be a smart integration for those not wanting to worry about pill-dependence or addiction. Obstructive sleep apnea has already been approved for medical marijuana in some cases with researchers looking to patient feedback to explore more uses as well.

In an article this past July, The Fresh Toast shared that CBD can benefit those from insomnia. Peter Grinspoon, M.D., professor at Harvard Medical School shared, “CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.”

Marijuana Can Improve The Quality Of Sleep
Photo by PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Getty Images

The American Sleep Apnea Association believes sleep is not only tied to health and work performance, but so much more. Their research shows that over 50 million Americans experience the pain of falling (and staying asleep) with complications due to 80 different sleeping disorders.

RELATED: How Does Marijuana Affect My Sleep And Dreams?

With chronic insomnia affecting over 10% of Americans, the Association thinks the lack of a good night’s sleep is a major cause for concern. They state: 

“Sleepiness affects vigilance, reaction times, learning abilities, alertness, mood, hand-eye coordination, and the accuracy of short-term memory. Sleepiness has been identified as the cause of a growing number of on-the-job accidents, automobile crashes and multi-model transportation tragedies.”

By green-lighting medical marijuana and CBD in more states, Americans could have options for dealing with pain, sleeplessness and fatigue, bettering the economy and community. 



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